Clarinet & Saxophone
A versatile instrumentalist, Chris French is an accomplished clarinetist, saxophonist, and flutist. He received B.M. and M.M. degrees from the Juilliard School. While in New York, he was principal clarinetist of the National Orchestra of New York, and studied with Leon Russianoff, Joe Allard, Charles Russo, and Warne Marsh. After briefly playing with the Orquesta del Estado de Mexico, he returned to Los Angeles (where he grew up) and pursued a career as a symphony orchestra and recording studio musician. In addition to Goshen College, Mr. French is also on the faculty of Indiana University South Bend and St. Mary’s College. He plays regularly with classical and jazz performing groups in Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois, and has been featured soloist with many of the Michiana music ensembles. Mr. French has played at the Elkhart Jazz Festival for the past 10 years.
A dynamic Spanish-American composer, Jorge Muñiz has been recognized on two continents for his highly expressive style and refined artistry. The works of Jorge Muñiz have been performed in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the USA. In October 2010, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra presented the world premiere of the composer’s hour-length Requiem for the Innocent, written in remembrance of victims of terrorism around the world, featuring baritone soloist Ivan Griffin and five choruses. The South Bend Tribune called the work “a creation that is profound, mature and well-proportioned.” Muñiz’s La Nueche de San Xuán was released in fall, 2011 on the CD “La Noche, 21st Century Music for Flute and Harp” by Roberto Álvarez and Katryna Tan, principals of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. In January 2012, his oratorio Oda a Jovellanos for tenor, chorus, and orchestra was released on CD and DVD in Spain, featuring Spanish tenor Joaquín Pixan, the Prince of Asturias Choir, and the Asturias Symphony Orchestra. Jorge Muñiz was born in Switzerland in 1974. He earned his Master’s Degree in Composition at Carnegie Mellon University with Leonardo Balada, and his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Composition from Manhattan School of Music with Richard Danielpour. Muñiz is also the recipient of several grants and fellowships from Fulbright and Rotary International, among others For four years, Jorge Muñiz was a member of the theory faculty at Manhattan School of Music. He is currently Associate Professor of Music, Composition and theory at the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts at Indiana University South Bend.
Aleksandra Kemble came to the U.S. in 2002. She studied at the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland where she obtained her Master’s degree in flute performance and continued her studies in the United States receiving both “Artist” and “Performer” Diplomas from Indiana University.
Mrs. Kemble expanded her musical knowledge and experience through attending master classes throughout Europe (Austria, Holland, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) and is now the principal flutist with the Elkhart Symphony. She has also appeared regularly with the Southwest Michigan Symphony, LaPorte Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Lakes, Kalamazoo Philharmonia and had been frequently invited to play at the Round Barn Theater in Nappanee, Indiana.
Aleksandra Kemble received her Suzuki training and certification in “Every Child Can”, a course on the Suzuki philosophy and its application to education and Suzuki teaching, from the Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area in Virginia in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and is now certified a Suzuki teacher.
Matthias Stegmann was born in Münster, West Germany, where he began playing the guitar at the age of twelve. He made his first concert appearance at the age of seventeen in Münster. In 1986, after several years of study at the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree, he and his family immigrated to the United States where he taught guitar at Marshall University in Huntington (WV) and the University of Rio Grande (Ohio). Mr. Stegmann also pursued graduate studies in Music History and Theory at Ohio University and earned a Master’s degree in classical guitar performance under the supervision of Clare Callahan at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. During his studies in Cincinnati he had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses with Oscar Ghiglia, David Russell, David Tanenbaum, Adam Holzman, and Scott Tennant. Stegmann currently teaches Guitar and Audio Production at Goshen College. He also coordinates all recording activities at the Goshen College Music Center.
Ramona Kim, a native of southwest Michigan, began her study of the harp at the early age of 7. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Azusa Pacific University in southern California and a Master of Music degree with an emphasis in harp performance from Indiana University South Bend where she studied with Suzann Davids. Ramona also attended the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden (Maine), for intensive study with Alice Chalifoux, former Cleveland Symphony principal harpist. In addition to teaching in her home studio, Ramona is the adjunct professor of harp at Goshen College and Bethel College. She also is the principal harpist for Elkhart Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Lakes in Warsaw, and plays periodically with South Bend Symphony Orchestra.
Erin Yoder is a native of Goshen, Indiana, where she attended Goshen College and earned degrees in both music performance and biology. In addition, she graduated from Northwestern University with a master of music performance in horn. Erin has studied with David Mosley, Bruce Heim, Barry Benjamin, and Arnold Jacobs. She taught applied horn lessons at both Bethel College and Goshen College, and played principal horn in the Maple City Chamber Orchestra. Erin is currently studying at Indiana University with Myron Bloom (modern horn), Richard Seraphinoff (natural horn), and working toward a doctorate in brass pedagogy.
James Richardson is a Goshen-based organist and church musician. He is Director of Sacred Music and Organist at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Goshen, Indiana where he serves as choir master, organist, cantor, as well as part-time music teacher for elementary music K-5 at the St. John the Evangelist Catholic School. His duties include coordinating cantering schedules, musical programming & arranging, providing music at 5 weekly masses, and rehearsing the adult choir. He is adjunct instructor of organ at Goshen College. Richardson has a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from the University of Oklahoma, and a B.M. in Music from DePauw University.
Ben Runkel is a versatile percussionist, educator, and composer who seeks to bring powerful experiences to his audiences through the percussive arts. A native of Naperville, Illinois, Ben was a winner in the WAMSO Young Artist Competition and has been a soloist with the St. Paul Civic Symphony, Elkhart Municipal Band, and Northern Illinois University Philharmonic. Ben has performed locally and internationally including Costa Rica, Millennium Park Chicago, Goshen College, Bethel College, Concord High School, and all across the United States as a member of the Madison Scouts and Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps.
In addition to teaching percussion at Goshen College, Ben currently serves as the Percussion Specialist for Concord Community Schools, Elkhart, IN. As a composer, Ben writes and arranges for many groups throughout Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. Ben is proud to endorse many fine percussion companies including Mapex and Majestic Percussion, Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets, and to be a member of the Percussive Arts Society. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Performance and Music Education from Northern Illinois University’s School of Music where his primary teachers were Greg Beyer, Robert Chappell, Rich Holly, and Rodrigo Villanueva.
Hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Kyle Pitcher studied at Western Michigan University where he received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education. He is an active performer as a double bassist, and currently teaches private double bass lessons. Kyle is the 5th/6th grade Orchestra Director for Goshen Community Schools, as well as an Assistant Director for the 7th grade, 8th grade, and high school orchestras. Kyle is an active member of the American String Teacher’s Association and the International Society of Bassists.
Akira Murotani is a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic trumpet section. He has also performed with the Grand Rapids, South Bend, and Muncie Symphonies and Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra and was a member of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy. Murotani holds DMA and MM degrees from SUNY-Stony Brook, and BM from Luther College, Saskatchewan, Canada. Murotani has studied with Chris Gekker, William Vacchiano, Ramon Parcells, William Scarlet, Ron Anderson, and Ed Lewis. In addition to classical training, Murotani is a jazz enthusiast. He has performed in New York’s well-known jazz club, the Knitting Factory, as well as other venues in the metropolitan New York area and Long Island.
After receiving his Master’s Degree in Tuba Performance from Ohio University, Roger Lewis won the Fellow of Tuba position with the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. After teaching at the Bay View Summer Music Festival, the next step was to begin Doctoral studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he also won the Principal Tuba position with the Evansville Philharmonic where he played for 3 seasons. Currently Roger is Principal Tuba with the Whiting Park Festival Orchestra, The North American Brass Company brass quintet, The Quintessence Chamber Brass and has worked as a substitute with The Boston “Pops”, The Southwest Michigan Symphony, The Detroit Symphony, The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, The South Bend Symphony, The La Porte (Ind.) Symphony and the Elkhart Symphony (having held the Principal Tuba position for 12 years). Roger has studied with Walter Sear, Joseph Novotny, Toby Hanks, Robert D. Smith, Harvey Phillips and Arnold Jacobs.
Rosalyn Troiano teaches applied viola for the Goshen College Music Department. Rosalyn holds DMA and MM degrees from the Eastman School of Music where she served as teaching assistant for viola professor, George Taylor. Additional studies in early music include Baroque viola performance with Jane Starkman and chamber music with Kenneth Slowik at the Baroque Performance Institute in Oberlin (Ohio). Rosalyn is the String Director of the Goshen College Community School of the Arts, teaching Suzuki and traditional violin and viola students since 2004.
Sandy Hill, coloratura soprano, holds a music education degree from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and a master of music degree in vocal performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Before moving to Goshen, Sandy was artist/instructor of voice at the Wausau Conservatory of Music in Wausau (Wisc.) and taught private voice in Austin Texas. Sandy Hill’s pedagogy emphasizes the importance of vocal technique, the theatrics and staging of songs, a wide variety of repertoire, and a positive and contagious enthusiasm for musical excellence. Her students have competed and won various vocal competitions including ISSMA, NATS, Kalamazoo Bach Festival, and the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition. Sandy also directs Shout for Joy choir for grades 6-8, and teaches voice in the Goshen College Community School of the Arts.
Rebecca Dengler Kaufman is a graduate of Goshen College and received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Colorado. While attending UNC Rebecca appeared onstage as Cherubino inLe Nozze di Figaro and Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. She also received 1st place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in the Colorado/Wyoming chapter. After attending UNC Rebecca taught in the music department at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colorado while performing throughout the Denver Metro area. In Denver, Rebecca was a regular soloist at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral as well as performing in the Opera Colorado chorus. She has appeared as soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria, Copland’s In the Beginning, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Handel’s Messiah. Currently, Rebecca helps many young Elkhart County students find joy and confidence in singing through vocal instruction. She performs with the Saint Joseph Valley Camerata as well as finding opportunities to serve as soloist in the Michiana area in the midst of raising her three beautiful children.